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Sarah Sherwood, Founder and Principal

Along with a successful tenure at Stanford Hospital & Clinics, Edelman Worldwide and Ruder Finn, Sarah Sherwood has been promoting organizations in the well-being, science, and medical industries, and working with top scientists and innovators for over twenty years. Her success and creativity in the field has won the confidence of colleagues in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Sarah’s experience includes putting together the first news department at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. She was responsible for building a new department that would serve the news media internationally, nationally, and locally to promote the adult hospital and all 16 clinics. Sarah managed a nearly one-million-dollar budget and developed new campaigns that gave Stanford Hospital a record amount of media coverage.

Sarah was responsible for supervising accounts in the healthcare practice for two international public relations agencies, soliciting new business, and counseling clients in media relations and third-party development. Her efforts included working with Motorola Healthcare Solutions Group, Roche Diagnostics, the American Association of Diabetes Educators, and the American Liver Foundation. Through her relationships with The New York Times, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun Times, the American Hospital Association, and others, Sarah was able to place her clients’ messages in high-circulation publications. In addition, she developed strategies in third-party development for her clients to assist them in forming key relationships with essential audiences

Before settling in Chicago to work for Edelman Worldwide, Sarah was a development coordinator for the Kamber Group, the eighth largest public affairs firm in Washington, D.C. She was responsible for raising funds for the AFL/CIO and the National Lesbian and Gay Health Association. Sarah produced direct mail that raised a record amount of funds for both the AFL/CIO and NLGHA, and raised a record amount for a growing health association.

Before working at the Kamber Group, Sarah began her career in politics for Clinton/Gore in 1992. She managed an office for Kathleen Brown in 1994.

Sarah has a master’s degree in public communication from American University in Washington, D.C., and a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in California.

Contact Sarah by e-mail or at 650.380.9102.


Maria Prieto, Director, Client Business Development

Maria PrietoMaria Prieto joins our corporate development team at Sherwood Communications to assist in the formulation and readiness of client goals and objectives, as well as to effectively support client initiatives. Maria brings 14 years of executive experience in business process development and system support for companies such as Nortel Networks, Sephora USA, Inc., Safeway Corporation, Power Integrations, Inc., Maxtor, and Gafcon.

As a Dale Carnegie leader, Maria promotes collaboration with all levels of team players. Her background includes supporting business and software projects through process development, improvement, and identifying business initiatives. During her tenure at Nortel Networks she led the West Coast ISO 9000 audit team, consistently completing region-wide quality audits on time, within budget constraints, and in compliance with ISO 9000 standards.

In other roles, Maria has supported business process improvement, participated in SAP Manufacturing implementation, developed engineering bug tracking methodology, defined quality initiatives for customer service logistics management, and supported manufacturing quality systems. Detail-oriented, she helps oversee the process as public campaigns are planned and evaluated.

Maria was chair of the Lupus Foundation of Northern California from 1999 to 2003. She has also assisted in projects for the Chabot Space and Science Center in her community. As for her hobbies, she enjoys enhancing environments as a certified Feng Shui Practitioner.

Maria holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University, an ISO 9000 Lead Auditor RAB certificate, an Information Technologies Project Management certificate, and the BPM Certificate of Training.

Contact Maria by e-mail or at 510.468.4742.


Heidi F. Diedrich, Director, Integrated Communications

Heidi DiedrichHeidi Diedrich brings to Sherwood Communications nearly 20 years of integrated communications experience at the international, national, and grassroots levels. She is recognized by for her ability to apply strong analytical and critical thinking to strategic communications programs that align with and advance an organization’s business objectives and marketing goals.

This experience complements her work with Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where as director of media relations she established the school’s first in-house international media relations program. Under her direction, the program generated impressive media results within its first year, including coverage in The Economist, Financial Times, Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, as well as National Public Radio.

While with National Dairy Council (NDC), Diedrich was responsible for establishing the first national strategic integrated communications plan for a $250-million campaign to reduce childhood obesity in the United States. The initiative, developed in partnership with the NFL, reached 60,000 U.S. schools and 36 million youth in its first year. Efforts led to the program being accepted under First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign in 2010.

Previously, Diedrich led NDC’s national and regional media relations programs. In this role, she established an integrated media relations plan to promote and protect U.S. dairy products through leveraging scientific research and educating public policy leaders and third-party experts. Efforts included traditional and digital communication, as well as a national news bureau and panel of independent nutrition experts who endorsed dairy in the human diet, based on published nutrition research.

Diedrich also led public affairs for a major regional health care trade and advocacy association in Chicago, providing leadership and vision to realign the association’s public affairs initiatives to better reflect and support member institution needs. Under her direction, the association’s marketing and communications collateral were rebranded, the department was restructured, and communications activities were streamlined to secure the association as a leading regional expert on a range of health care issues, including disaster preparedness and response, patient safety, care for the uninsured, and health care workforce shortages.

While with Loyola University Health System, Diedrich held positions of increased responsibility, rising through the ranks to eventually lead the academic medical center’s media services division. Under her direction, international and national media coverage of the center’s bench and clinical research achievements increased nearly 200 percent in one year. She also counseled senior executives and physician leaders on internal and external communications initiatives.

Early in her career, Diedrich gained valuable experience in consumer public relations while with Edelman. There, she worked on such powerhouse brands as KFC and Kraft. She began her public relations career at a small boutique firm outside Chicago, collaborating with a small team of colleagues to create the first consumer public relations program for Whirlpool Corporation, launching the global company’s first environmentally friendly refrigerator at a time when the sustainability movement was in its infancy.

Before joining the public relations profession, Heidi worked as photojournalist for a small suburban newspaper chain near Chicago and as a stringer for the Associated Press and United Press International. She lives in Chicago.

Contact Heidi by e-mail.


Robert Sherwood, Writer/Editor

Bob Sherwood has 25 years of experience as a writer, editor, and QA tech, and is currently working as a German-to-English translator. He has 6 years of experience as a technical writer and editor in Silicon Valley, designing, writing, and editing numerous technical manuals and training documents in highly technical subject matters. Bob is able to sift a large quantity of complex material and present it clearly and simply, enabling newcomers to achieve a quick ramp-up in unfamiliar subject areas.

Bob edited the published memoir Seven for the Run, the true story of an escape from a communist prison camp in Czechoslovakia. He is also one of the editors of Sharing Housing: A Guidebook to Finding and Keeping Good Housemates. Bob has published eight books, four as translator and four as author, in the field of chess history, to very positive reviews. More titles are planned.

He has also developed a number of Web sites for commercial enterprises and nonprofits and is currently the editor and administrator of several sites.

Bob has his own translation business based at www.rhsherwood.net and is in the process of developing translation specialties in the fields of psychology and high technology.

Contact Bob by e-mail.